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Intern Med. 2012;51(17):2403-6. Epub 2012 Sep 1.

Chyloptysis after ligation of the thoracic duct.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hamamatsu Medical Center, Japan.


Chyloptysis is a very rare clinical finding. We describe a 44-year-old man who presented with cough and milky-white sputum. Fiberoptic bronchoscopy revealed white sputum, which originated from the right B(6) bronchus. The finding of elevated triglyceride levels in his sputum led to the diagnosis of chyloptysis. He had a surgical history of ligation of the thoracic duct for idiopathic chylopericarditis 7 years-previously. He also suffered from postoperative bilateral empyema. Since then, his pleural cavity has been adhered bilaterally. It is thought that his abnormal postoperative lymphatic flow caused the chyloptysis.

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